Public Safety Committee: Verified Burglar Alarms

Today Police Chief Kunkle and Larry Davis, Chair of the Commission of Productivity and Innovation, briefed the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on a proposal to require verified responses to burglar alarms.

In 2004, the DPD received about 62,000 burglar alarm calls. Of those, 97% were false alarms (60,100). Responding to these false alarms took approximately 47,000 police officer hours, which equals about 41 full-time police officers at a cost of approximately $3.485 million in police time. This takes our officers away from responding to real crimes in our city.

The proposal is to require alarm companies to respond first to their burglar alarms, then contact the police only after verifying that an actual crime occurring. The city would still respond immediately to burglar alarms that are the result of someone pressing a panic button. Residential alarms would no longer require a permit fee. Commercial alarms would still pay a permit fee.

This verified response system has been successful in other cities across the country, including Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

I am very supportive of this proposal. We don’t have enough officers on the street, and this will free up over 41 officers.

ACTION: Committee voted to hold a public hearing on October 12 before the full City Council. Between now and then, the City will work with the alarm industry to develop a successful transition.